New Story: A Nonprofit Dedicated To Building Affordable Housing

More than 1.6 billion people worldwide lack safe shelter. That’s about 178x the population of New York City. And the UN predicts about 3 billion people will lack access to adequate shelter by 2030. Between now and 2050, we’ll need to build more housing than we have in the last 6,000 years. In short, the problem of homelessness is outpacing the world’s solutions. 

At Cotopaxi, our mission is to create global change for good. It’s why the Cotopaxi Foundation is committed to supporting nonprofits that help communities experiencing poverty. Lack of affordable housing can cause and exacerbate poverty, and poverty is also a reason why families lack safe housing in the first place. Inadequate housing and poverty are two sides of the same coin that no one should have to experience. 

That’s why we’re proud to announce our Foundation’s partnership with New Story to help more families secure safe housing. Because when families own safe housing, they experience generational change for good. 

“It feels like a dream come true. I am so happy that I have land to my name that I can pass on to my children.” —Griselda, Etzatlán, Mexico

If you’re one of the 1.6 billion people without safe shelter, the odds of you receiving a donated house are the same odds as you winning the lottery twice. Families should be able to rely on more than luck to secure the housing they need. 

Thankfully, organizations like New Story are doing things differently. New Story is a Y Combinator-backed nonprofit focusing on building a more inclusive housing market in Latin America. Although Y Combinator typically only funds for-profit startups, the they were so moved by New Story’s mission that they decided to back their cause. They’re dedicated to finding solutions that are not only sustainable, but scalable, all while creating impact through innovation, partnerships, and investments. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness, so they use diverse interventions to create impact at a market level. 

So what are some leading causes of homelessness? If you think of natural disasters and the mental health crisis, you’d be right. But that only covers a small part of the bigger picture. New Story believes that the primary problem preventing families from living in adequate housing is this: The market fails to include families living in poverty. 

When you want to move into a home, you have to work with a lot of people and processes to make it happen. You interact with banks, landlords, and your employer, to name a few. You navigate obstacles to have your name on a lease or mortgage—like providing rental history, W-2s, multiple forms of identifications, and so much more. If you think that’s a lot, families in poverty face exponentially more obstacles along their path to safe housing. New Story works to remove those obstacles by incentivizing market players to include lower income families. 

In their first eight years, New Story has impacted more than 15,000 people. And their data is proving housing changes everything. For example, in Mexico, families they’ve supported have increased their median household income by 63% since moving into safe shelter. 

“I never expected to have this, especially after losing my mom. Thanks to New Story, I have something that's mine. It's total independence, and I have a safe home.” —Norma, Zacatepec, Mexico

Right now, 80% of families in Mexico don’t qualify to be able to purchase the average home available in the market, and low-income families need more affordable housing options. So in partnership with New Story, the Cotopaxi Foundation is playing a role in making homes more accessible for families traditionally left out of the Mexican housing market. More specifically, we’re honored to support New Story’s mission by funding the development of a more affordable home model for low-income families in Etzatlán, Mexico. This new home model could reduce the price of the most affordable homes in the current market by 20%. The design will also give families the flexibility to expand their homes as their needs and desires change. A new affordable home design will unlock greater housing and economic opportunities for low-income families in Etzatlán and beyond. 

New Story’s human-centered approach gives families a dignified way to secure the housing they want at a price they can afford. The end result is vulnerable families living in safe homes, improving their well-being, and fulfilling their potential. 

Learn more about New Story here